I Focus on the Pain.

pop quiz: the lyric above is from what song and artist? clue: these guys need one helluva manicure or a big hammer to prevent it getting progressively worse.

All of us want to get through the ski-season, and indeed life, without suffering pain or injury. Read any article, by anyone who knows what they are talking about, and I guarantee they will all advocate improving your strength, balance and flexibility to avoid injury.

Wherever in the world you do your skiing, the most common injuries from snow sports are:

  • Hitting your head on the slope following a fall and getting concussion.
  • Twisting your knee as you fall with skis or a board and damaging your ligaments.
  • Covering your body with bruises as you bump and roll down a slope; base over apex.
  • Fracturing or breaking wrists, shoulders, collarbones, shins and ankles as you land awkwardly.

To avoid a trip to A&E, it makes sense for all of us to spend a little time, two or three times a week, every week, focused on our strength, balance and flexibility. Try this one:

Wall Sits with a Modification.

  • Why? Critical to good and safe snow sport technique is strength and flexibility in your hips.
  • What? Stand with your back to a wall, about your own foot’s length from it, feet facing into the room. On an out-breath, place your hands on your hips, bend your knees and hinge forward, at your hips, keeping your upper body as upright as possible, until your butt touches the wall. On an in-breath, stand back up.
  • How? Make sure you maintain a neutral spine and an engaged core throughout the movement.
  • When? Build up to doing two sets of twenty, two or three times a week. As the exercise gets easier move yourself a little further away from the wall.
pop trivia: The lyric is from ‘Hurt’ by ‘Nine Inch Nails’, a single from their album ‘Downward Spiral’, released in 1995. In 2002, ‘Johnny Cash’ released a critically acclaimed version just months before his death.